General Meeting
Cosmology Interest Group
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Meeting Photos and Journals
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Lincoln Hills Astronomy Group

2011 Meeting Journal

January 5
GM NASA's "Discovery and New Frontiers" Program by Don Wilson
Don described some of NASA's low profile missions such as a NASA low budget mission that does double duty by recycling satellites. Don described missions to minor planets, comets, asteroids, and the Kuiper Belt.
January 17

January 20

February 2 GM  "Dark Skies" by Jack Sales "Dark Skies 2"
Jack is the founder of the International Dark-Sky (IDA) Association. The goal of the IDA is to make people to be aware of the importance of the loss of our dark skies. The preservation of dark skies is an important environmental concern to astronomers, of course, but also for other aspects of our biosphere. Light pollution has been shown to adversely affect circadian rhythms of sleep patterns and hormonal cycles of many living things, including us humans. There is also an environmental concurrent effect due to wasting of energy for overused urban lighting. Jack discussed  these detrimental effects of "light pollution," and alternatives to reduce these effects.
February 21 CIG
February 24 TIG

March 2 GM "The Stormy Sun" by John Combes
The Sun appears to be a very stable star and compared with many other stars that would be the case. However, considering the fragile nature of life on Earth, the Sun can pose some interesting and sometimes disastrous effects to the well being of human and animal life. John explored some of the events caused by the Sun which have affected the way we live.
March 9
Group Expo
March 21 CIG
March 24 TIG

April 6 GM LHAG Social/Mini-Expo 
LHAG members enjoyed time for socializing and browsing the Astronomy displays. They learned about LHAG activities including the Binocular Interest Group and the Cosmology Interest Group. Several different types of telescopes and binoculars were on display, and many "apps" for IPAD's, iPhones, and other devices were demonstrated.
April 18 CIG


May 4
GM Community Forum "Our Cosmic Neighborhood"  -SCLH Forum in the Ballroom at OCL.  7 - 9 PM
LHAG members gave four short, yet interesting and informative presentations:
(1) "What's Up in the Night Sky" Joel Thomas will take us on a tour of our local night sky that can be observed using only your naked eyes;
(2) "The Year of the Solar System" Anthony Oreglia will present the newest images and missions exploring our solar system;
(3) "21st Century Astronomy" Tom Eason will discuss how astronomers today are discovering secrets of the universe and
(4) "Cosmology" Morey Lewis will explain what the universe is composed of as well theories on its origin.
May 5
Binocular Interest Group Viewing with Binoculars at a site in Lincoln Hills - No experience necessary 
Contact Joel Thomas 
analemma93@yahoo.com (408-5521) or Nina Mazzo  ninamazzo@sbcglobal.net  for details.
May 16 CIG


June 1 GM "SETI and the Allen Telescope Array" by Jon Richards
The mission of the SETI Institute (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) is to explore, understand and explain the origin, nature and prevalence of life in the universe. Jon Richards works with Seth Shostak and Jill Tartar at SETI in Mountain View, and also at the Hat Creek Antenna site. Jon presented the history of SETI, describe the Allen Telescope Array used to search for signals, and explained how signals are detected. Jon  also described SetiQuest, SETI's latest initiative to involve the public in assisting in software development and the analysis of received signals.



August 15 CIG
August 17 GM Planetarium Show and Presentation at Sierra College Planetarium by Professor Barry Rice
Barry presented a planetarium show and presentation titled "Have Aliens Visited Earth?"
August 25 TIG Blue Canyon Observing Trip
This observing trip was very successful with excellent "seeing" conditions.  We saw stars, galaxies, nebulae, star clusters and the Milky Way in outstanding detail.

September 7 GM "Mooning Our Way Through the Solar System" by Anthony Oreglia
What are the most fascinating and mysterious objects in the solar system? What have volcanoes, lakes, mountains, canyons, oceans, ice sheets, craters, crevices, geysers, and rain? What have strange names and come in all shapes and sizes? What play leap frog with each other? What may be the only place in the solar system that harbors alien life forms?...... the Moons! There are now over 160 moons that have been discovered orbiting the solar system's eight planets. Anthony gave an excellent presentation about  the latest discoveries concerning these remarkable solar system objects.
September 19 CIG Lecture 28 - Back to a Microsecond - The Particle Cascade
Lecture 29 - Back to the GUT - Matter and Forces Emerge


October 5 GM General Meeting    "The Origin of Our Moon" by Tom Eason
Our Moon is our closest major neighbor. In many ways it is unique compared to most other Solar System planetary moons. Why is it different, and how did it get that way? How do these differences affect us? Tom discussed four different scenarios for the origin of the Moon that address the answers to these questions. 
October 17 CIG Lecture 32 - Puzzling Problems Remain
Lecture 33 - Inflation Provides the Solution
October 19 TIG Blue Canyon Trip

November 2 GM "2012 - The Next Great End of the World?" by Chuck Pullen - instructor at Sierra College 
Hype has been building for several years over the end of the Mayan Calendar on December 23, 2012, the Winter Solstice. Some are making it into a prophecy of the end of days. Others are tying a host of conspiracies into the "Mayan Apocalypse " including UFOs, shadow governments, and the Illuminati. Chuck informed us about the real Mayan Calendar, past predictions of doom, and the business of selling the end of the world.
November 21 CIG Lecture 32 - The Quantum Origin of All Structure
Lecture 33 - Inflation's Stunning Creativity


December 11
Holiday Social